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General Poker Discussion >> Poker Legislation

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Caveman
journeyman


Reged: 01/16/04
Posts: 80
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: Gugel]
      #7523995 - 10/03/06 10:41 AM

Here you go, the mother of all conspiracy theories. It is very long and also purely based on an overactive imagination trying to make sense of this whole situation. I am not saying this is what is happening, I just wrote this to get rid of some of my frustration, sometimes it calms my mind to write things like this to get them out of my head.

Bill Frist: Why did he push this so hard? I know the general opinion seems to be to court the religious right, Congressman Leachís support, etc and it really might be that simple. Maybe he had a child, relatives child or close friends who failed in school due to spending their time playing poker online and it became personal for him. The last possibility is he was convinced of something that could really boost his exposure and give him a real boost in his Presidential aspirations at just the right time.(Right before the primaries for maximum effect.) This last option will make more sense at the end of the piece I am writing now.

Existing online sites: Why didnít they do more to prevent this legislation? This on is a real bear to get a handle on. Were they really so stupid as to assume that nothing would pass so that they didnít have to make a serious effort to prevent this? I could believe this about some of the sites, but to believe this of all of them is quite a stretch in my opinion. Granted the True Poker CEO was at least active on the forums and concerned, but he is the only one that seemed to care at all. Maybe they were convinced by someone or some group that the threat wasnít nearly as big as it appeared on the surface. It would have taken someone inside the gambling industry to pull this off. There is really no way for me to know the answer to this question, but I have an idea on a mechanism that might have been used to convince all those involved that enforcement would be very difficult if not impossible. It has to do with the banks and cost of enforcement of the regulations.

This legislation is focused on making the banks and financial institutions the primary tool in stopping the flow of money and thereby making it impossible or extremely difficult for US citizens to gamble online. Others have pointed out how there is no way the banks can refuse to do this and they are technically correct the banking industry has to comply if the government insists. The banks are really the only hope we left, there is a possibility that doing what the govt. wants is too costly.

What is an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)? This is exactly like it sounds, if the money is moved electronically it qualifies as an EFT. This includes the EFT transfers most of us are familiar with from tying Neteller to our bank accounts. It also includes every ATM transaction, use of debit cards, prepaid phone cards, etc. short version is that it includes ANY and all ELECTRONIC TRANSFERS of money. You go into Walmart and pay with a check, they convert it to an EFT at the register and hand your check back to you, because they no longer need the check. The US Treasury prefers to due business by EFT for the same reason as Walmart it costs much less. The Treasury says it cost something like 0.89 cents to process a check vs 0.07 cents to process an EFT, quite a costs difference. There are millions, possibly hundreds of millions of EFT transactions every day in the US. How much is it going to costs for the banks to make sure none of these transactions is done with money from online gambling. While the banks canít refuse to enforce the regulations even the Govt. Would have a hard time saying the banks should spend more money to enforce the regulation than the whole online gambling industry represents. The American people may not care one way or another about online gambling, but if the banks say its going to cost them every time they do an EFT they will care about that. What about businesses having to pay these fees for every EFT, in short it could seriously damage not only these business but possibly the whole American economy. If this is in fact the case what do you think will happen to these regulations?

Suppose about the same time that the banking industry is talking about these costs someone steps up and offers a possible solution. Someone like this group that is about to buy Harrahs steps up with a solution. They say allow online gaming but make people physically come to a casino to register in order to verify identity and age if they want to play online. This eliminates the underage gambling objection. They also agree to send in the proper tax documents to the IRS and to the state the people are from. This would make sure the Govt. Get the money it feels its due from both the sites and individual players. The games would be regulated by existing or new gaming commissions ensuring the fairness of games. Money would be held in US banks thereby making sure people are not taken advantage of by fly by night companies operating from places where the owners are effectively untouchable by US laws. This also helps the Govt. Prevent money laundering which the politicians seem to think is going on now. If someone loses a certain amount of money gambling online they will have to prove they have the means to afford the losses or they will be cut off. This at least gives some control over making sure that people with gambling addictions do not click the mouse and lose the house as the politicians seem so fond of saying. They could give individual states the right to make this illegal if they so choose, giving the gambling rights choice back to the states themselves.

What this accomplishes is giving US companies control of the American players. These companies will not have to fight for market share it will be handed to them. Plus it wouldnít just be online poker it would be online casinos too. The sites being US based could offer incentives to players such as free rooms etc thereby also increasing the land based business profits too. They could either allow foreign players to sign up or make agreements with existing companies like the skins of different sites do now. The real question is whether someone or some group had the wherewithal to try this, possibly even orchestrate it .Its worth taking a shot due to the amount of money involved we are talking billions here. Existing sites will go to the WTO screaming about protectionism, but the US will argue that underage gambling was rampant and that there is no way for those sites to truly prevent this. They will probably also mention the money laundering angle, security of funds, and fairness of games issues.

Back to how Frist benefits. He can state how while he abhors gambling and did his best to stop it, the politicians still in office decided it was not worth it do to the cost of enforcement. While his legislation was not completely successful it did prevent underage gambling, and increased revenues for the Govt by making sure that taxes are paid by both the players and the companies. People who suffer from gambling addictions will have at least some protection which is better than the no protection they had before. In addition it wonít be offshore fly by night companies doing this but legitimate US based businesses, ensuring the integrity of the games and policing for possible money laundering operations. I am sure he and his people would be able to spin this in their favor even more, making this a win-win situation for him. If the new rules are announced at the right time he gets publicity (free advertising) and a platform to speak from to try to launch his bid for the presidency.

Damn, I just realized I had my tinfoil hat on inside out, no wonder Iv'e been having so many crazy thoughts.


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bcblack
member


Reged: 06/15/04
Posts: 159
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: Caveman]
      #7524151 - 10/03/06 10:59 AM

This is funny, the first day I heard about the legislation back a year ago or whenever, I thought "Ha! I bet the US casinos are behind this so they can break the party poker domination and get in on the markekt themselves."

Looks like it might be the case, and I would like it if it happened.


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Copernicus
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 06/13/03
Posts: 6912
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: Caveman]
      #7524218 - 10/03/06 11:07 AM

You missed the biggest question:

Why didnt they ban cashouts? Enterprising players and sites will find workarounds to playing and depositing, but if there were any risk of not getting your winnings out, how many people would play?

They could have set a window for withdrawals after which no checks/EFTs/cc deposits/intermediaries would be able to pay out monies from a gaming site.

The fact that they didnt do that is the only thing that makes me wonder if there isnt more to come.


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reddred
addict


Reged: 08/07/04
Posts: 411
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: viper930]
      #7524261 - 10/03/06 11:11 AM

Quote:

B&M casinos would never purposely pull something like this. The continuous growth of the online poker industry has brought a ton of new business to the B&M casinos. People play online, polish up, think theyre hot [censored], and figure I'll go give the casino a try. There is no reason why the casinos would risk losing that continuous flow of new players to fight each other over something that might not even end up working out (because some online sites will not be backing out and will have a greater chance at the market than startup B&M online rooms). Good try though.

/theory




And how do you think attendance at the B&M casinos is going to be once Americans can't play online anymore??


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LearnedfromTV
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 06/05/05
Posts: 5914
Loc: Coaching
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: Caveman]
      #7524371 - 10/03/06 11:24 AM

I can't believe I read that entire post. I liked this part:

Someone like this group that is about to buy Harrahs steps up with a solution. They say allow online gaming but make people physically come to a casino to register in order to verify identity and age if they want to play online. This eliminates the underage gambling objection. They also agree to send in the proper tax documents to the IRS and to the state the people are from. This would make sure the Govt. Get the money it feels its due from both the sites and individual players. The games would be regulated by existing or new gaming commissions ensuring the fairness of games.


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dedmoney
enthusiast


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 387
Loc: In ur club AMOGin ur PUAs
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: LearnedfromTV]
      #7524533 - 10/03/06 11:37 AM

This doesn't seem that far fetched to me. Online poker goes 'illegal,' Party gets whacked by 50% of it's value (while losing 70% of it's revenue, which I find odd), the governemtn works to 'regulate' the industry, meaning lincensing and requirements and measures to 'protect' us. Harrahs/MGM strangely enough already has this license and is therefore in position to buy Party or, more likely, a private equity firm buys Party and somehow does a joint venture with a major casino company to make it happen.

Why does Party only fall 50-60% when they are losing at least 70% of their revs? What about the 270 days to get everything situated? A lot can happen in 270 days.

I'm not saying I believe it, but there are a lot of possabilities, and a lot of actions that look pretty dubious.


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MrWookie
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 02/28/05
Posts: 17411
Loc: Treating my drinking problem
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: bcblack]
      #7524591 - 10/03/06 11:42 AM

Quote:

This is funny, the first day I heard about the legislation back a year ago or whenever, I thought "Ha! I bet the US casinos are behind this so they can break the party poker domination and get in on the markekt themselves."

Looks like it might be the case, and I would like it if it happened.




Honestly, I think that if last week, Harrah's was able to open their own online poker room legitimately in the midst of Party's dominance, Party would be done for. Assuming Harrah's room was on the up and up, they could launch a huge ad campaign saying as much, discrediting Party's trustworthiness. Furthermore, just the pride of playing on an American room would draw me there. No American room would have any trouble drawing people once they heard about it. Virtually everyone on this forum would open an account there to check them out, and new players who'd never played before would be drawn to the American room. If they were remotely competitive with Party wrt rake and software, we'd have a new market leader.


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Kneel B4 Zod
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 12/24/03
Posts: 11725
Loc: Nobody roots for Goliath
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: dedmoney]
      #7524665 - 10/03/06 11:49 AM

Quote:

Why does Party only fall 50-60% when they are losing at least 70% of their revs? What about the 270 days to get everything situated? A lot can happen in 270 days.




you answered your own question. the issue is not a medium term or long term slam dunk, and growth prospects for Europe/Asia remain strong.


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Copernicus
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 06/13/03
Posts: 6912
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: MrWookie]
      #7524731 - 10/03/06 11:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

This is funny, the first day I heard about the legislation back a year ago or whenever, I thought "Ha! I bet the US casinos are behind this so they can break the party poker domination and get in on the markekt themselves."

Looks like it might be the case, and I would like it if it happened.




Honestly, I think that if last week, Harrah's was able to open their own online poker room legitimately in the midst of Party's dominance, Party would be done for. Assuming Harrah's room was on the up and up, they could launch a huge ad campaign saying as much, discrediting Party's trustworthiness. Furthermore, just the pride of playing on an American room would draw me there. No American room would have any trouble drawing people once they heard about it. Virtually everyone on this forum would open an account there to check them out, and new players who'd never played before would be drawn to the American room. If they were remotely competitive with Party wrt rake and software, we'd have a new market leader.




Exactly. The notion that a US casino company would need to spend the money to buy a foreign site is silly imo. The marketing of the site through B&M affiliations is inexpensive for them, but prohibitively expensive (or illegal under trademark laws) for a foreign site to replicate.

Eg. HarrahsPoker.com can probably prohibit other sites from running satellites to the WSOP under trademark laws. Even if they cant, they can offer room and food comps at their cost, while an outside company would have to pay full retail to offer those items.


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KingQueenSuited
newbie


Reged: 10/01/06
Posts: 28
Re: Conspiracy Theory: Put on Your Tin Foil Hats [Re: Copernicus]
      #7524766 - 10/03/06 11:57 AM

This is more than a theory I found this link on this site! lol

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15109442/


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